Writing an Essay - H4

Writing an Essay
Write a 300-word essay on one of your novels & hand in

  •  What is the message in the novel?
  • What does the novel say about society? 
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Slide 1: Tekstslide
Middelbare school

In deze les zitten 11 slides, met tekstslides.

Onderdelen in deze les

Writing an Essay
Write a 300-word essay on one of your novels & hand in

  •  What is the message in the novel?
  • What does the novel say about society? 

Slide 1 - Tekstslide

Slide 2 - Tekstslide

Tips - part 1
  • Use a 5-paragraph lay-out (hamburger slide) with a white line between each paragraph

  • Start your introduction with general information (main character/plot/setting) OR attention-grabbing statement about the novel (plot = storyline, sequence of events; setting = time & location of story)

  • Start each of the three middel paragraphs with a linking word and a topic sentence. Then give plenty of examples from the  novel.
         Linking words: first of all, second of all, thirdly/third of all - One example/another example/moreover etc.
  • Finish your essay by repeating the three arguments (topic sentences) in the middle paragraphs OR finish your essay by repeating the strongest argument (topic) sentence to demonstrate for example discrimination in the novel. 

Slide 3 - Tekstslide

Tips - part 2

    • Don't use " I/we/you" in a formal essay -> Use "they", "people" or "it is or was said/believed/written etc."  
           The reason for not using personal pronouns (I/we/you) is that these weaken your arguments. Write in a neutral way.

    • Add details to your sentences, by using adjectives & adverbs. For example: The man ran to the store. Revised (herschreven):   Michael Johnson, a thirty-year-old man,  quickly ran to the store. 
           Adding details makes sentences more interesting.

    •  Combine sentences into one longer sentence
            For example: This girl is my friend. She is in all my classes and I have invited her to my party. My party is on Saturday. (24 w.)  
           Revised: This girl, who is in all my classes, is my friend and I have invited her to my party on Saturday. (21 words) 
           In the revised sentence fewer words are used and the sentence is more natural and more interesting. 
           Avoid writing sentences with repetitive information, because the reader will be bored.

    Slide 4 - Tekstslide

    Tips - part 3

        • Use gerunds (verb + ing as a noun) or participles (3rd form of verb) to avoid too many "that-constructions" or to make your sentences shorter and vary with sentence structure:
               For example: The student that studies hard for his test is the student that succeeds. Revised: Studying hard for a test makes 
               a student succeed.
               For example: She was hurt by the mean comments on social media and cut off all contact with her friends. (18 words) 
               Revised: Hurt by the mean comments on social media, she cut off all contact with her friends. (16 words)

        • Use  synonyms (different words with the same or almost the same meaning) to avoid repetition.

        Slide 5 - Tekstslide

        Tips - part 4

            • Check the tenses (werkwoordtijden) of your sentences. Stick to either the  past simple or present simple - be consistent.
                  (Zorg ervoor dat je in dezelfde werkwoordtijd schrijft. 

                  Levendig taalgebruik is de Present Simple. 
                  Wanneer je voorbeelden gaat geven in de middelste drie alinea's, gebruik dan of de Past Simple of de Present Simple. 
                   Dit houdt het helder voor de lezer)

            • Check spelling mistakes (were/we're/where;  there/they're/their;  capital letters for names/cities/titles of novels etc.)

            Slide 6 - Tekstslide


            DELETE unnecessary words - There is still the fact that people discriminate -> People still discriminate. 
            Delete pronouns (I/we/you) in formal essays  - use "people", "they", "it is said" 

            REARRANGE  information in a sentence for stylistic effect (She was hurt by all the comments -> Hurt by all the comments, she ...)

            ADD interesting details (adjectives, adverbs) - The man felt tired -> The old man felt extremely tired after running the marathon.

            FORM gerunds (Knowing he will survive has helped me cope with his accident.) & participles (Hurt by all the negative comments, the royal couple left the country.)

            THINK aloud - read the sentence out loud to hear if it flows well.

            Slide 7 - Tekstslide

            Linking words & websites 
            In the next two slides you will find:


            • linking words (to link paragraphs and sentences for coherent (duidelijk/logisch) writing

            • websites with information on a number of novels you are reading (extremely helpful)
            Check out the Themes & Symbolism to find out about the message of the novel

            Slide 8 - Tekstslide

            Slide 9 - Tekstslide

            Slide 10 - Link

            • Practice essay writing a number of times
            (Practice makes perfect)

            • Look up information on your novel on the websites mentioned
            check out Themes and Symbolism (=objects that have a deeper meaning)

            Slide 11 - Tekstslide